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Posts tagged “Northern Saw-whet Owl

Saw-whet Success

Northern Saw-whet Owl

By: Pat Coate

Took advantage of my daughter flying into the Rochester airport to visit several birding spots in the area prior to her arrival. One stop was Owl Woods (part of Braddock Bay Fish & Wildlife Management/Braddock Bay Park) to search for migrating northern saw-whet owls. Success!

These owls are always a joy to see. They are only 7-8 inches tall and weigh in at a whopping 2-5 ounces.


Northern Saw-whet in Owl Woods

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Northern Saw-Whet (adult)

By: Pat Coate

Due to an early morning flight for a business trip on Monday, I stayed in Rochester Sunday night. I decided to head up early and spend the day visiting some of the Rochester-area birding sites including Owl Woods and the Braddock Bay Hawk Watch. I am extremely thankful to Jim Adams ( for meeting me, providing such a wonderful tour of the area and for sharing his experience and knowledge (and scope).

We found this Northern Saw-whet Owl, nestled in an evergreen tree, resting up to finish its northern migration. These owls are quite small – only about 7-8 inches tall and weigh less than ½ pound .

Please note that the pictures were taken with a telephoto lens and we kept our observation time brief.

Movement of Northern Saw-whet Owls

Vision by the moon
Northern Saw-whet Owl and the moon!

I am soo excited; I don’t know where to start. . . . ! Have you ever wondered where the bird you are looking at has been or where they are going? Previously I have discussed some interesting banding recoveries where I recorded two different Black-capped Chickadees who moved 3350 feet from their breeding territory to where they had been wintering (these were my own recaptured birds). I have also discussed on numerous occasions some exciting banding nights where I recaptured some foreign recaptured Northern Saw-whet Owls that had been previously banded by another bander. I am proud to announce that “today” I received a report that another bird bander recaptured one of my Northern Saw-whet Owl last fall (the first time this has ever happened to me, yah!!)!!

My Irruption Northern Saw-whet Owl Year

Northern  Saw-whet Owl
First Northern Saw-whet Owl of the Season.

This year the Allegany State Park (Northern Saw-whet Owl) banding station was open for 28 nights and captured 83 different individuals with 90 total NSWO captures. We did not capture the hundreds of owls like the big migration sites but this stations numbers this season was significantly better than my previous three years of banding combined. The last two weeks in November resulted in very bad weather conditions (lake effect, strong winds and rain) which considerably reduced the number of net hours that the station typically operates. (more…)

Weekend Visitors

Saw-whet banding
Young Naturalist J glad to be banding again!!

We had more visitors at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station this evening than owls! I need to high-five Grace 🙂 for helping locate our 70th bird of the season (in the mist net) and then allowing me to barrow a book that I need to read. Mike and Terry decided to head home early after banding our first 2 fluff balls (thanks for visiting). Grace left only minutes before we captured our 3rd bird and then recaptured the 2nd bird again (The owl must be net happy). (more…)

What an Owl Smells Like

smelling their head
Old picture of me teaching kids some bad habits

If you regularly follow this blog . . . . then you would know that I have an obsession with smelling the heads of woodpeckers.  The woodpeckers head have a pine-musty odor to them but for some reason the smell is very pleasurable to me (ya, I am nuts – I know already)!! This evening while studying the migration of the Northern Saw-whet Owls . . . . I had a quick whiff of that odor! Bet you can’t guess what I did next?? (more…)